How to Change the Oil on a 1986 Honda Nighthawk S

Honda's 1986 CB700SC--better known as the Nighthawk S--features an oil-cooled, four-cylinder motor that provides enough performance to match the motorcycle's aggressive styling. Keeping the motor well lubricated requires a fresh supply of oil through regular oil changes spread out in 4,000-mile increments. The oil change procedure is fairly straightforward, differing very little from the methods used on any other motorcycle. A pair of oil drain plugs under the motor, however, can confuse a Nighthawk owner since most motorcycles only use one plug.

Tools Used: Oil pan, 17 mm socket, Socket wrench, Sealing washers, Filter cap wrench, 8-inch socket extension bar, 3 quarts of 10W40 motor oil, Oil filter, Brake cleaner, Towel

Change the Oil

Lift the motorcycle onto its center stand and place an oil pan under the motor. Unscrew the oil filler cap from the left side of the motor, near the gear shift lever and left foot peg.

Unscrew the oil drain plugs from the motor and the frame with a 17 mm socket. The motor drain plug is positioned near the split in the exhaust pipes while the frame's drain plug is positioned further forward. Drain the oil into the oil pan.

Pull the sealing washers off of the drain plugs and replace them with new washers. Screw the drain plugs into their respective locations with the 17 mm socket. Tighten the motor's drain plug to 25 foot-pounds and the frame's drain plug to 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Unscrew the oil filter from the front of the motor with a filter cap wrench and an 8-inch socket extension bar. Remove the filter from the motorcycle, pushing it to the left and out from between the last exhaust pipe and the frame.

Rub a thin layer of 10W40 motor oil over the new oil filter's gasket ring. Push the oil filter between the exhaust pipe and the frame and screw it in place onto the motor by hand. Tighten the oil filter to 12 foot-pounds with the torque wrench.

Pour up to 3 quarts of 10W40 motor oil into the motor's filler neck with a funnel. Screw the filler cap into place.

Spray the areas surrounding the oil filler cap and the oil filter with brake cleaner to wash away any spilled oil. Wipe dry with a shop towel.

Tips & Warnings

Warm the motorcycle up for a few minutes before changing the oil. Warmed oil will drain faster from the motor than cold oil.

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